Easy DIY Wooden Garden Obelisk

DIY Wooden Garden Obelisk

Free Step-By-Step plans to build a wooden garden obelisk

Have you always wanted one of those lovely English Cottage Garden Obelisks or Pyramid Trellis’ as they are sometimes called?

Me too! They are so pretty and quite the statement piece in your garden.

Even though I live in Texas I pin so many different pins to my gardening board on Pinterest and they all seem to be lovely British gardens.

These are some of my pins:

DIY Wooden Garden Obelisk

I lived in the UK for 12 years so I think I got quite attached to that beautiful style of landscaping, it looks so blowsy and pretty, full of fat peonies, poppies and roses.

But here in the US wooden obelisks or pyramid trellis’s are quite expensive and I wanted quite a big one.

I looked up the prices of them and they can run around $300 and then you still have to buy the additional top if you want that lovely ball feature!

I thought that was quite a lot of money for a garden accessory!

And since I like to follow along with the blog tagline “elegant lifestyle design on a budget” I wanted to stick to my budget (which was around $50)

DIY Wooden Garden Obelisk

I decided to do some research on Pinterest and then asked my husband to make me one based on the different ideas that I had seen.

I really wanted to keep the project as inexpensive as possible. It worked out you could make one for less than $50 for the wood supplies.

In this article, I will show you exactly how to make one yourself

(Honestly, so basic with no glue and no need for expensive DIY tools either, just a saw!)

Please note that this post contains affiliate links and should you purchase anything that I have suggested, I will receive a small commission. I assure you I only recommend products that I have used and would support personally. Please refer to my disclosure for the legal stuff.

Supplies you will need (linked so you can see what we bought):

Step-By-Step FREE DIY Plans to build a wooden obelisk (with pictures)

I wanted to make the steps as simple as possible.

This is not a complicated project, nor do you need a ton of tools to do it.

Step 1:

Make your first side.

  • Lay 2 2x2x8 on the ground in a triangle shape.
  • Tape the top pieces together for stability.
  • The first 2×1 piece of wood should be 24″ across.
  • Measure and then cut. We just did straight edges.
  • The next piece should be 16″ above that.
  • You will attach 5 pieces of 2×1 at 16″ intervals.

First side done!

Step 2:

Repeat Step 1

Step 3:

Use a piece of wood to temporarily anchor the 2 sides together

Match up the sides (using 2×1 pieces)

Remove the anchor when done

Step 4

Attach screw in leg (the ‘ball’ at the top) to square piece of wood

Attach to the top of the obelisk.

Step 5

Add your decorative pieces.

We put 2 pieces of 2×1 up the middle of two sides and 2 pieces each of the skinny trim up the other 2 sides.

Step 6

I painted it using some leftover paint that I had used for our porch which has held up so well. It is Valspar one coat exterior stain and sealer solid white base. We did not tint it.

TIP: In hindsight, I would probably paint before it is put together, I think that would be easier. It was quite tricky getting inside and just when you think you are done, you find another unpainted piece!

How to anchor and secure a wooden garden obelisk or pyramid trellis?

First of all you want to see where to situate it in your garden. We have a pretty little flower garden and we wanted to place it in there.

We first put it in and then pushed it a little bit (not too hard as you might break the supports).

We then removed it and dug holes about 10 inches deep. When we put it back in we had to put some rocks under some of the supports in order for it to be even as the garden itself is on a slight slope.

We then tightly packed the soil around the legs.

This has been sufficient for us and it has endured some seriously high winds.

BUT I WOULD CAUTION YOU if you are worried about pets or children then I would either cement it in place (once you have planted) or tie it down with rope and stakes.

What to plant on a Wooden Garden Obelisk or Pyramid Trellis?

DIY Wooden Garden Obelisk

We initially planted sweetpeas around the edges and they are doing OK.

You can see my sweet husband in this picture planting them around the base of the obelisk.

You can also get an idea of how big it is!

You can definitely make it smaller if you wanted to. You would just need to adjust the length of the initial 2x4s.

The sweetpeas are doing OK, they don’t love our crazy Texas heat but I have grown them in the UK and they went crazy.

So what you plant really depends on your climate.

My husband and kids bought me a rose for Mother’s Day so I am going to plant that in the middle.

I’ve decided to put it in a pot as again, planting roses in Texas is tricky if you don’t have the right soil.

The rose is a Mutabalis and I think it will be perfect. Here is a little blurb about it in case you think it will work for you too.

Mutabilis was introduced prior to 1894 and is one of the most famous and beloved of the old garden roses. Amazing medium sized single blossoms that pass through three distinct color phases (hence the name Mutabilis, since the blooms “mutate” in color) beginning with yellow, changing to pink, and finally to crimson. Mutabilis is also known as “The Butterfly Rose” because its blossoms look like brightly colored butterflies that have landed on the bush. Named 2005 “Earth-Kind® Rose of the Year” by Texas AgriLife Extension Service, this is a large, attractive shrub that is supremely easy to grow and has great heat tolerance making it well suited for growing in the South. Be sure to give it plenty of room to grow. Can also be pruned to form a spectacular rose tree 8′ to 10′ in height. Hardy in zones 6-9

This information can be found on the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension page. It has such amazing information about plants.

Final thoughts on DIY’ing a Wooden Garden Obelisk

It was a really simple and easy DIY and one that we would easily do again. It looks so pretty in the garden and I’m so glad I did not go out and buy an expensive one!

Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!

Elegant Simplicity Lifestyle and Personal Development Blog

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  1. Gillian
    / 8:04 pm

    Jen, that is absolutely stunning. Well done getting your hubby to build it for you. Maybe he could start a business selling them as I do know they are really expensive, here in U.K. too. Keep up the good work with the blog, love seeing what you are up to. Stay happy and germ free

    • Jen
      / 3:57 pm

      Thank you!! I have so many projects I want him to do! Hopefully he will do them soon so I can post them. Stay safe too, what a strange time we are living in! Tons of love xxxx

    • Jeannie Farmer
      / 6:22 pm

      Hi I’ve been trying to make one on my own with no special tools (or expertise!) or anyone to hold the pieces while I screw it together. I’ve made the 2 ladders but I’m really struggling to attach the side pieces without someone to hold it square for me, so I’ll give the tape and extra piece of wood at the bottom to see if that helps, fingers crossed. At least I did have the foresight to paint it in advance of assembly.

      • Jen
        / 6:47 pm

        You are awesome! Well done for doing it on your own and painting it first, SO MUCH EASIER! If you look at Step 3, just screw in an “anchor” piece of wood across the bottom, it can be any size, any type etc. It is just to stabilize the sides and enable you to put the other pieces on. Once they are on you can remove that piece of wood. I hope that makes sense, let me know how it goes and if you have any other questions. Jen

  2. Maureen
    / 7:17 am

    Well done Jacob and Jen a great team effort and so rewarding. Beautifully made and going to look lovely once covered in Sweet Peas, I need to see that in a few months.
    I’m so glad the Star Jasmine seems to be on the way after a first winter.
    All looking good.
    I so look forward to our reunion even though it has been postponed.
    Miss you all
    Love always your Mum here in South Africa xxxx

    • Jen
      / 3:56 pm

      Thanks my darling Chookie, big kisses to you xxx

  3. Aimee
    / 4:21 pm

    Hello, I am so glad I found this. I had read through several DIY Obelisk post and found myself a bit confused ;). I then said, “oh, I’ll just buy one.” Well to get a really tall one was about $150.00! I kept searching and found your super easy instructions. Thank you for taking the time to share. My husband and I (he doesn’t know it yet, lol) are building it this weekend to go in my garden.

    • Jen
      / 6:03 pm

      I love it! That’s exactly how plans are created in our house too 🙂 I hope it went well, let me know if you have any questions. Jen

  4. Cindi
    / 6:35 pm

    Thank you so much for these great easy to follow plans. My husband just finished painting ours and he gives you an A+ on your instructions!

    • Jen
      / 6:07 pm

      Hi! You have made my day, thank you!! I am so glad you made one and that your husband thought the plans were easy, that’s fantastic. Happy gardening, Jen

  5. aimee
    / 7:11 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to make this very helpful tutorial. We are just finishing up on ours and we are going to grow some sunflowers in ours.

    • Jen
      / 7:07 pm

      I’m so glad you found the tutorial easy and helpful. I absolutely love the idea of growing sunflowers in it, so pretty.

  6. Billy Gray
    / 2:45 am

    Planning building an obelisk but I see that you have not stated the units of size. Ie is you wood uprights in inches, mm etc. I suspect in inches as you use 24” and 16”. But this would make the 2×2 uprights heavy. Great design. Look forward to hearing from you


    • Jen
      / 8:53 pm

      Hi Billy, thanks for reaching out. Yes everything is in inches, I absolutely need to update the post to say that! Thanks so much for pointing it out. And yes, it is quite heavy but still stable. It is also quite high so you can adapt the lengths to suit how high you would like it, I hope that is helpful! Take care, Jen